Robb Report has compiled a select guide to the very best suites—from penthouses to train carriages—available now throughout the world.
Robb Report is the ultimate arbiter of quality in luxury. We’re picky, perfectionistic, and painstaking in what we recommend, whether it’s our annual Best of the Best awards or the power players in fine dining. This new list is no different: It intends to offer an opinionated, informed, and incisive guide to the best suites—from penthouses to train carriages—available now throughout the world. If you want to travel, and demand only the best, these are the 50 rooms you should insist on.
In this survey, we relied on the same team of insiders as we did for our inaugural list of the 50 greatest luxury hotels in the world: our Travel Masters. There are countless travel specialists in the world, purporting to design trips for the ultimate luxury insiders, but only a handful—20, to be exact—who truly offer unparalleled access and expertise. These Travel Masters are the world’s most canny and connected travel facilitators, a brain trust of five-star know-how with first-hand expertise in seeing (and sleeping in) the world’s greatest suites.
It was an obvious solution, then, to factor in their experience when compiling this list. No one is better placed to call out showstoppers rather than heavily hyped crash pads, to identify the genuinely exclusive versus the simply expensive. We asked each of them for up to 10 suites that they have seen and book regularly for their discerning clientele and used these nominations as the basis for our rankings.
It’s not surprising, of course, that many of their nominations overlapped, and the hotels that had top suites recommended by more than one—in some cases, up to four—Travel Master earned spots at the top of the list. Other than our top 10, we’ve ranked the rest geographically for ease of use.
This may be our first round-up of the Greatest Suites in the World but it won’t be our last. Indeed, as we update this select list, we’re keen to ensure that some overlooked spots make a splash next time. In Europe, for example, Italy has proven a dominant force, but there’s no entry from Greece, and China’s best rooms didn’t make the cut at all. The luxury lodge products touted by Australia and New Zealand have proven impactful, earning multiple slots in our top 50, as have India’s palatial hotels. Many major cities go unrepresented, though: Miami, for one, and Los Angeles, too—indeed, America’s entries in the top 50 are surprisingly scant. Yet with so many new five-star properties in the pipeline for 2024, the next iteration of this list will hopefully remedy some of that unevenness. Hoteliers, we’re looking at you.
1. The Baobab Treehouse, Xigera, Okavango Delta, Botswana
Botswana’s swankiest safari lodge has a single, standout room—or more accurately, standalone. The 33-foot tall treehouse is as much a sculpture as a building and sits a 10-minute drive from the main property; the spiky, abstract design was inspired by a 1946 image of a baobab tree by master landscape painter Jacobus Hendrik Pierneef from South Africa. Come here to disconnect: there’s no Wi-Fi, but the three-story structure has hot water and two bedrooms—one indoor, for inclement weather, and another on the roof, the ideal place to sleep below the stars under nothing more than a mosquito net. When Henry Cookson of Cookson Adventures had a group staying at Xigera, they ended up booking the Baobab tree for several nights, with the grandfather opting to rotate his various grandchildren through so each could experience it. “It comes to life at night, when it’s fully lit up and you’re surrounded by the sounds of the bus—you can hear lions roaring below you,” Cookson says.
From $2,597 per night.
2. Presidential Suite, Burj Al Arab Jumeirah, Dubai
Everything is bigger in Dubai, especially in the iconic, sail-shaped Burj Al Arab on the Dubai waterfront. The Presidential Suite here is two bedrooms and 7,178 square feet. In true Emirati-style the suite shows off with a marble and gold staircase, a grand dining room, and a private library. But that’s just getting started. How about Hermès toiletries? How about your choice of 17 pillow styles? How about 24K gold detailing, velvet footrests, silk kimonos, golden lampshades, a golden coffee machine, and a golden Dyson hair dryer. That’s more like it. “Even the entry level suites in the Burj are off the charts in size, opulence, views and sheer grandeur,” says Catherine Heald of Remote Lands. “This suite takes all that and multiplies it by a hundred and is truly mind-blowing.”
From $40,000 per night.
3. Grand Riad, Royal Mansour, Marrakech, Morocco
Marrakech’s Royal Mansour is comprised of private riads ranged around their own complex, but this four-bedroom home is the superstar, with its own private entrance via an olive-tree-lined patio so you don’t ever need interact with other guests. It’s aptly named, with almost 20,000 square feet of living space, including a cinema room, hammam, and snooker room. Book it with Alex Wix of Wix Squared, and you could follow her suggestion—she has previously created an entire evening’s entertainment on the private rooftop pool and terrace complete with storytellers, local musicians, and dinner, all supplied discreetly via the network of tunnels that make service so effortless (and virtually invisible) here. “You can see views of the Koutoubia Mosque and Atlas Mountains,” she says, “And you’re only a short walk, or caleche, or gold Bentley ride into the medina.”
From $43,500 per night.
4. The Penthouse, Claridge’s, London, England
Three words to describe the new penthouse bolted onto the top of Mayfair’s longtime jewel.“Wow, wow, wow,” says Christopher Wilmot-Sitwell of Cazenove+Loyd. The new ninth floor, four-bedroom offering claims to be London’s most expensive suite—and it’s worth every penny, especially for art lovers. Think of this as much as a gallery as a bedroom, with 75 works by Damien Hirst installed here that act as a pocket retrospective of his career, from a 2001 spot pointing, ZDP, to several artworks from his 2017 show Treasures from the Wreck of the Unbelievable. There’s a rooftop garden, piano pavilion, and a dining room with space for 10, all overseen by designer Rémi Tessier, best known for his know-how with superyachts, including the interiors of vacuum cleaner magnate James Dyson. There’s a 100-inch TV and a startlingly sleek series of skylights—the oculus, the most impressive, opens and closes camera aperture-style with a single press of a button.
From roughly $75,225 per night.
5. Maharani Suite Umaid Bhawan, Jodhpur, India
Built between 1928 and 1943 for the Jodhpur royal family, the Taj Umaid Bhawan Palace is the world’s sixth-largest private residence—and it should come as no surprise that its best suite is equally gargantuan. Weighing in at over 4,800 square feet, the Maharani Suite is all about making you feel like a princess of India’s Art Deco era. The suite comes with a lavish living room, dining room, gigantic bathroom with a Jacuzzi, walk-in closets, a kitchenette, and even a private spa and steam room. “This is the largest suite of the palace,” says Wilmot-Sitwell. “It used to be the personal chambers of the Maharani of Jodhpur and it reflects her personal style in its decor with the pink, black, and chrome shades.”
From roughly $6,200 per night.
6. Suites Beatrice and Bellini, Passalacqua, Lake Como, Italy
Within a year of opening, Passalacqua has established itself as one of the world’s most sought-after hotels—so no wonder not one but two of its signature suites make the list. The first is Suite Bellini, a 2,700-square-foot, one-bedroom spot that Wilmot-Sitwell stayed in and never wanted to leave, that’s named after the former owner of the home, the namesake composer. Bellini devised not one but two major compositions in that room, now rebooted as a double-vaulted suite with a huge Murano glass chandelier; it claims to be the largest such suite on Lake Como. “I loved having it to myself so I could marvel at its history,” he says. Scott Dunn’s Jules Maury prefers the Suite Beatrice, a 900-square-foot, one-bedroom option that’s named for Bellini’s Beatrice di Tenda. The dusky rose-pink colorway is offset with original stucco detailing and ceiling carvings; bonus points from Maury for concealing the televisions in antique steamer trunks. “It was throwing open the shutters at dawn to watch the silvery light over Lake Como and hear nothing but birdsong that I loved,” she recalls. Both suites sit in the seven-acre grounds on the waterfront that make for a dreamy, snapshot-ready backdrop, filled with jasmine plants, olive trees, and stepped terraces that cascade down to the lake; listen out for the clucking, as there are chickens roaming among the fruit trees.
Beatrice Suite from around $3,000 per night and Bellini Suite from $6,440 per night.
7. Silverback Suite, One&Only Gorilla’s Nest, Rwanda
“It’s more of a home than a villa, probably the most ultra-luxurious room in all of Rwanda,” says Roar Africa’s Deb Calmeyer of this suite at One & Only’s property in the gorilla-trekking east of the country—hence the name. The bi-level, 4,400-square-foot suite has floor to ceiling windows to give the ultimate impression of living amid the misty forests of eucalyptus trees which surround it, plus a private pool and BBQ terrace; book a night or two here, and one meal is always offered in-suite with your own private chef, as well as the privilege of a private tour at the hotel’s community partnership, Handspun Hope, which helps provide employment and skills to the poorest among the local population. This is a one-bedroom suite expressly aimed to offer privacy and luxury to a single couple rather than a group, with a 24-hour butler on call at all times for your every whim.
From $15,800 per night.
8. Dune Pavilion, Longitude 131, Northern Territory Australia
The only ultraluxe option within reach of Uluru is Longitude 131, part of a cluster of lodges in the Red Center that’s one of the world’s best glamping spots, nestled in terracotta-colored scrubland a short drive away. Its top-tier room is the Dune Pavilion, a two-bedroom spot with private plunge pool, fireplaces, and artwork from local, mostly Indigenous artists. There are views out across to both Uluru and Kata Tjuta (once known as the Olgas)—wake up at sunrise to see the colors shift markedly—and overnighting here grants access to sunset hikes around the park with local guides. Uncharted’s Sandy Cunningham calls it “a heady mix of raw and sumptuous at the same time.” Make sure to book a treatment with the resort’s spa therapists, who now specialize in offering treatments inspired by the traditions of the local Anangu people.
From $73,780 per night.
9. Peninsula Suite, The Peninsula, Hong Kong
A gigantic single-bedroom playpen perched over the Grande Dame of Hong Kong, the Peninsula Suite is the best in the city and it makes a huge impression. Stacked with a sprawling living room with floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking Victoria Harbour, it is filled with original artworks, antique furniture, a grand piano, a formal dining room that seats 10, a private gym, and even a screening room. It’s also over 4,000 square feet. “I booked this suite for a ‘to remain nameless celebrity’ and his partner, who arrived by helicopter on the roof of the Peninsula,” says Wix. “We arranged for their favorite films to be viewed in their private screen room each evening. Their Rolls-Royce chauffeur was also on call 24/7.”
From $30,500 per night.
10. Sydney Suite, Park Hyatt Sydney, Sydney, Australia
Go on, look out across the water and pause for a moment: This hotel has a unique vantage point to offer unparalleled views of the Opera House, the building that’s become a shorthand not only for Australia’s sexiest city but also for the country itself. The namesake, two-bedroom suite at the Park Hyatt, right across from that building at the tip of the Rocks district, is an almost 3,800-square-foot option with a wraparound balcony, a private entrance for staff to come and go without disturbing the occupants and an oversized spa bath (if you want to consider the view from there, allow plenty of time to fill it). Come during the light festival, VIVID, each May and the night-time views are even more extraordinary, as the projections dance along the Opera House’s sails, says Cari Gray of Gray & Co.
From around $16,090 per night, with a minimum two night stay.
The Greatest Luxury Suites in Europe
From the hills of Scotland to the sunny shores of the South of France, Europe is a smorgasburg of perfect hotels dripping with tradition. With all that history, no wonder many of its best suites come with plaques bearing the bold face names of yesteryear icons like Ava Gardner and Princess Grace on their doors.
Les Grands Appartements, Hôtel de Crillon, Paris, France
This storied hotel, commissioned by Louis XV in 1758, first opened as a hotel in 1909; it resurfaced six years ago under Rosewood’s guidance after a multimillion-dollar renovation—a revolution, even. It was the late Karl Lagerfeld who was handed the responsibility of creating its most sumptuous suite, the aptly named Grands Appartements. Lagerfeld oversaw every detail of the decor: Look for a portrait of his beloved, pampered cat, Choupette, in one bedroom, named in her honor, as well as the glass chandeliers, pinstriped wallpaper, and marble bathrooms—Kaiser Karl even oversaw picking every piece. “The large paintings give hints of Versailles, like you’ve stepped back in time with Louis holding court,” says Gray, calling out the “showstopper” bathtub and the wall of glass into which an invisible TV screen is embedded, materializing at the touch of a button.
From $49,037 per night.
Ava Gardner Suite, Splendido Mare, a Belmond Hotel, Portofino, Italy
The glamorous spitfire of Hollywood’s Golden Age stayed here while filming 1954’s The Barefoot Contessa and deeded her name to the most impressive of the suites in this charming hotel, one which Gray calls the “essence of the Cinque Terre.” The roughly 600-square-foot space is the best out of the 14 rooms and suites inside the Mare annex of the Belmond-operated hotel. A former fishermen’s guesthouse, it now offers a delightful alternative to the main property, just 10 minutes’ walk away. Gardner preferred its less frenetic, see-and-be-seen pace, and her namesake suite is filled with modern Italian design from the likes of Gio Ponti, plus a hundred-plus contemporary artworks; the roof terrace is the ideal place for swoony harbor views. Make sure to sweet talk the receptionist into showing you the hotel’s guest book: The leather bound tome is filled with scribbles from some of Hollywood’s most glittering stars—Elizabeth Taylor’s first proposal from Richard Burton was right here (she said yes, only to divorce and then remarry him).
From $1,450 per night.
The Royal Suite, The Fife Arms, Braemar, Perthshire, Scotland
The contemporary gallery Hauser and Wirth has bridged into hospitality in recent years via several sites, including this one, which it operates under its Art Farm banner. The Fife Armssits in Perthshire, Scotland’s most aristocratic region and a short canter on a thoroughbred from the royal family’s summer hideaway, Balmoral (it’s about 15 minutes’ drive). The four-year-old reimaging of a careworn coaching inn is a five-star highlight in the rolling countryside whose new operators have understandably crammed it with artworks (note the Breughel in the dining room, and yes, that’s a Lucien Freud in reception). Stay in one of the Royal Suites here, equipped with their own freestanding copper bath and sitting room, suggests Cunningham—they’re named after a figure with historic connections here, including Princess Louise, Queen Victoria’s granddaughter who built the property (Louise was also the name of the queen’s most rebellious offspring, the proto-feminist fashion icon Princess Louise). Slip a few of the coasters from Elsa’s bar into your pocket as souvenirs; they’re gorgeous keepsakes, each of them designed in the shape of designer Elsa Schiaparelli’s signature details, from lips to a lobster claw.
From $1,738 per night.
Princess Grace Suite, Hôtel de Paris Monte-Carlo, Monaco
The only problem with staying in this suite in one of the world’s glitziest locations, says Max Rosenthal of Fischer Travel, is that it’s so well stocked with amenities. “There’s no reason to leave,” he laughs, noting that the almost-10,000-square-foot space on the 7th and 8th floor of the hotel has not one but two stone terraces, plus its own private, heated infinity pool and 180-degree views out across the Mediterranean from superyacht-crammed Port Hercules out to the country’s western reaches. It only opened in 2017, a landmark addition to one of the principality’s best-known hotels, and is crammed with personalized touches intended to suggest that the late Grace Kelly might truly once have lived here—look at the books, featuring her favorites like Jean Anouilh and Romantic poetry, and pressed flower collages on the walls, created by the princess herself. There are even family pictures in the office.
From roughly $69,843 per night.
Grand Son Net Suite, Son Net, Mallorca, Spain
This country mansion hotel in Mallorca’s Tramuntana mountain range only reopened under its new owners—the same team as the beloved Finca Cortesin—this summer, but is already a mainstay for luxury travelers, somewhere that Jaclyn Sienna India of Sienna Charles calls “more than just a luxury retreat, but an ode to the rich tapestry of Spain’s regal history,” before calling its priciest room, #20, “the best suite in all of Spain.” Spanish designer Lorenzo Castillo is a friend of the owner, and he was indulged to unleash his maximalist exuberance at full tilt, with carved wood ceilings, tiled floors, and a private terrace; the fireplace means the hotel can stay open year-round, making it an ideal winter weather weekend hideout. Standing in the grandest suite, says Gray, it’s “impossible to keep your mouth closed.”
From around $1,785 per night.
Glass Igloo Suite, Octola, Lapland, Finland
The 740-acre Arctic Circle resort Octola is already a jaw dropping experience, but Scott Dunn Private’s Jules Maury says the epitome of exclusivity there comes via its Glass Igloo Suite, where you can sleep under the stars in a transparent structure that turns the night sky into nature’s television. “You can view the Northern Lights from the bathroom or the outdoor hot tub,” she says, noting that the lack of light pollution here makes spying the phenomenon much easier. “It’s 560 square feet of Finnish Lapland heaven.” The building’s more than mere gimmickry, though. The resort’s owners tapped a local Sámi architect to contribute to the design, and it’s inspired by the traditional laavu buildings of the Lapp people here, which were used as shelters amid the bleak weather conditions of their nomadic lifestyles.
From $8,760 per night.
Dalla Suite, Grand Hotel Excelsior Vittoria, Sorrento, Italy
The songwriter and singer Lucio Dalla “became the soundtrack for the lives of generations of Italians” says Jennifer Schwartz of Authentic Explorations. For an experience that blends music and beauty in perfect harmony, check into Lucio’s namesake Dalla Suite at the Grand Hotel Excelsior Vittoria. Overlooking the Bay of Naples in Sorrento, this room is where Dalla composed his hit “Caruso” while stay at the hotel in 1986. Today, the two-bedroom suite pays homage to that moment in musical history with a contemporary-meets-antique furniture and design, parquet floors, three marble bathrooms, and, of course, a grand piano. “The piano sits at the center of the room,” says Julian Harrison of Premier Tours. “It can come with a local pianist, dressed in tuxedo, to play a private concerto during dinner.”
From $1,060 per night.
Ludovice Prestige Suite, Ludovice Palace, Lisbon Portugal
Have you ever been to a living room so nice you wanted to, well . . . live in it? Welcome to Room 304, a.k.a. the Ludovice Prestige Suite, once a living room/parlor in the 18th-century palace home of João Frederico Ludovice, the king’s architect. It’s one of the few buildings that didn’t collapse in the great earthquake of 1755. The well-persevered 700-square-foot room still has the original white-and-blue tiles, as well as a balcony and three large windows facing the city that Ludovice himself stared out. Outside you’re treated to views of old Lisbon and a more recent addition to city life: the much-photographed yellow tram, Elevador da Glória.
From $1,627 per night.
Eden Roc Suite, Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc, Antibes, France
This storied South of France gem—which has clocked up more than 150 years of hospitality—reopened earlier this year after a renovation steered by decorator Francis Sultana. He was invited to meddle with its suites enough to make them both larger and lighter-feeling (and reduced the tally by seven to allow such improvements). But one suite was beyond improvement: the penthouse namesake, with its canopy bed, private terrace, and hot tub that sits on top of the Pavilion building. John Clifford of International Travel Management recommends it for the views, that 2,000-plus-square-foot terrace, and the chance to connect it with the junior suite next door, which creates an even roomier haven. Don’t forget to sign the hotel’s Golden Book when you stay and see what messages past boldfaced guests—Damon, Pitt, Kidman, and Jolie have all stopped by, while Taylor and Burton honeymooned here—have scribbled in there, too.
From $7,000 per night
Dogaressa Suite, Hotel Cipriani, a Belmond Hotel, Venice, Italy
Belmond’s beloved Cipriani—call it the Cip, please, as regulars always would—sits both in the heart of Venice and also apart, perched at the tip of the Giudecca island and a brief boat ride from the edge of St Mark’s Square. Think of this suite as the Cip of the Cip, housed a short walk through the gardens to a nearby palazzo, Vendramin, the oldest building in the hotel complex; it sits on the piano nobile there. That allows you to escape the hoi polloi in the hotel bar—mostly George Clooney, a regular negroni-sipper there. Clifford calls it out what he describes as “oozing 18th century glamour,” thanks to the maximalist decor, which is heavy on elaborate Fortuny and Rubelli silks woven nearby, Coromandel screens, Old Master paintings festooning the walls, and a cotton candy–esque pink marble bathroom.
From roughly $9,712.
Istanbul Grand Suite, Venice Simplon-Orient Express
Maybe the golden age of travel never died? That’s the argument the Istanbul Grand Suiteattempts to make aboard Belmond’s Venice Simplon-Orient Express. From Paris all the way to Istanbul, you’ll be ensconced in the finest artisanal craftwork in Europe—like hand-carved timber, embossed leather, and embroidered rugs and pillows—while you drown yourself in free-flowing Champagne. But even in the day of Hercule Poirot no train car had this: marbled en suite bathrooms. Dining is also done privately in your suite, and 24-hour butler service is the cherry on the cake. For Maury, it’s simply “the most beautiful moving suite in the world.”
From roughly $73,257 per adult from Paris to Istanbul.
The Greatest Luxury Suites in North America & Caribbean
If you think bigger is better, the swishest stays from Canada to the Caribbean have you covered. With space to go around, hotel names you love—such as Aman and Ritz—have the opportunity to create truly one-off suite experiences.
The Mark Penthouse, Mark Hotel, New York, USA
In New York, biggest is best and the nothing tops the penthouse at the Mark Hotel on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. Since its debut with a Jacques Grange–design back in 2015, this 10,000-square-foot, five-bedroom, six-bathroom slice of the city has been a power play. It’s where Meghan Markle had her baby shower. It’s where Met Gala VIPs gaggle. It’s where Drake raps his sheep to sleep. Why? Maybe because it has four fireplaces, a living room that can be transformed into a full-sized Grand Ballroom, and its own conservatory. But Rosenthal says it’s really all about the private, 2,500-square-foot rooftop terrace. “With panoramic views of Central Park and the NYC skyline, the rooftop can be customized for special experiences,” he says. “It’s been transformed into an ice-skating rink, and Jean Georges has personally catered private dinners for intimate groups.”
From $75,000 per night.
Grand Teton Suite, Amangani, Wyoming, USA
The best suite in the legendary Aman resort in the foothills of the Tetons outside bustling Jackson Hole is all about the views. Dubbed the Grand Teton Suite, this 625-square-foot spread features a gas-lite fireplace, woven chairs in faux-wolf fabric, and a large wraparound balcony. But it’s the room’s location on the top floor that makes it a must-stay experience. “Perched on top of the butte overlooking the valley floor, it’s one of the only suites that has an unobstructed view of the Grand Teton, one of the most iconic peaks in the region,” says Kevin Jackson of EXP Journeys. “For exclusivity and privacy, it’s perfect.”
From $3,000 per night.
Pacific Suite, Post Ranch Inn, Big Sur, California, USA
Sunset lovers, rejoice: Come here, says Jackson, for the ultimate experience at dusk. “The suite has some of the best views of the Pacific Ocean and quite possibly the best sunset experience in California,” he swoons. The circular, two-story home, the best spot in this 39-room adults-only property, is primed to enjoy that year-round—after all, even in midsummer, the weather in this rugged corner of the Golden State can be brisk, and ocean fogs can roll in out of nowhere. Expect a wood burning fireplace and heated floors, plus a stainless-steel soaking tub out on the private deck, sitting 1,200 feet above the Pacific Ocean off Highway 1. Bring a Tropic of Cancerpaperback to peruse while you sit there, as Henry Miller used to draw inspiration from his home here. Make sure to spend some time out on the deck once the sun’s set, as the stargazing here is also first-class.
From $2,500 per night.
Flat Earth Suite, Fogo Island Inn, Canada
According to Canada’s dubious Flat Earth Society, Fogo Island—a spec in the frigid North Atlantic off the coast of Newfoundland and Labrador—is one of the four corners of the earth. The otherworldly Relais & Châteaux-endorsed Fogo Island Inn cheekily borrows that bit of pseudoscience to christen its best suite, room 29, a.k.a. the Flat Earth Suite. Occupying two stories and 1,100 square feet within the modern, Todd Saunders–designed resort, the corner suite faces east for sunrise splendor. Its expansive ocean views seen via floor-to-ceiling windows emphasizes the feeling of being on the edge of the earth. The resort was built as part of a non-profit effort by Canadian entrepreneur Zita Cobb to provide economic opportunities on the island. “Glaciers? Puffins? Art? Economic education? Fresh berry juice? Modern architecture? Fogo offers it all,” said Gray. “Ponder it all from the tub with the most rugged views of ‘the Rock,’ a.k.a. Newfoundland.”
From $5,000 per night.
Seven South Suite, Ritz-Carlton Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands
Bigger isn’t always better, but in the case of the nine-bedroom, almost-18,000-square-foot suite at the Ritz-Carlton here, we’ll make allowances for the largest suite in the Caribbean—as will Jonathan Alder of Jonathan’s Travels, who singles it out as a regional standout. “The outdoor space is large enough to entertain or hold a small wedding on,” he says. Like the rest of the resort, it was designed by superstar hospitality interiors Alexandra Champalimaud and her team, who conferred their signature elegant glamour on the vast space with a brief to evoke the interiors of a luxury yacht (hence the wooden walls, round rooms, and oversized windows) Undeniably, though, the standout detail is the primary bathroom. Clad in fine, blue-veined marble, it has its own ocean-facing balcony and circular standalone tub.
From $25,000 per night.
The Greatest Luxury Hotels in Central & South America
South of the border, privacy comes a little easier. Forget lobby check-ins and elevator rides to the top floor. Down here, standalone villas, estate-sized grounds, private beaches, and personal staff reign supreme.
Esencia Mansion, Tulum, Mexico
A staff DJ, a 20-seat cinema, a rooftop party terrace with a plunge pool, and 360-degree views: Forget “The Real Cancun,” this is the real Tulum. A coveted boutique hotel, Esencia opened back in 2014 on a 50-acre estate in the steamy Mayan Riviera, the former home of Italian Duchess Rosa de Ferrari. Then, at the start of the year, this tropical playground decided to prove that it’s still the spiciest resort around with the debut of its four-bedroom Esencia Mansion. All those aforementioned amenities are available to the house’s eight guests as well as butler service and private fitness classes. “What do you do when you’re one of the most exclusive, private, and sought-after accommodations on the Mayan Riviera? You create a brand-new accommodation that in some ways tops your Presidential offering,” says Clifford. “And get this, there’s an underground speakeasy for entertaining and celebrating like rock stars.”
The Greatest Luxury Hotels in Oceania
In Australia, the most exciting hotel in the region has been rebuilt after going up in a bush-fire blaze. In scenic New Zealand, a swath of massive private agricultural estates have been transformed into private eco-resorts. In Polynesia, new villas tempt on sultry shores. This year, Oceania is punching above its weight with some of the best hotels in the world and many of its best suites.
Cooper Residence at the Landing, Bay of Islands, North Island, New Zealand
There are just four villas on the gated estate known as the Landing, a vineyard with rooms on a private peninsula in the rugged Bay of Islands, toward New Zealand’s northernmost tip. Southern Crossing’s Stuart Rigg, an avowed fan, will often counsel clients to book both the five-bedroom mansion on the hilltop as well as the smaller Boathouse residence. The latter was configured by the family who owns the property for their active teens, so it has a raft of sports facilities, including paddleboards and kayaks. Take a night walk around the property to track the 16 mostly nocturnal kiwi birds who call it home, and look for the towering Norfolk Pine by the waterside—underneath it, the first European child to be born (and die) in New Zealand is buried, a nod to the historic resonance of this estate. The Cooper Residence’s collection of Maori artifacts, the largest private haul in the country, also recognizes their history here.
From $13,600 per night.
The Owner’s Villa, Nukutepipi, French Polynesia
Call it the villa that Cirque du Soleil built. Founder Guy Laliberté plowed a sizable chunk of his hefty fortune into this atoll, which he finally settled on in 2007. It took him 10 years to create the ideal hideaway here, which he only offers commercially as a buyout property for up to 52 guests who are keen to truly escape—it’s around 4,000 miles from any continental landmass and 600 miles from Tahiti itself. There is a clear VIP accommodation option amid the various homes here: the Master Villa of more than 6,000 square feet, with a home cinema, a hot tub, and artwork from superannuated rebel Damien Hirst—a longtime favorite of collector Laliberté. Cookson says it’s on the most private part of the island, so you can create an inner circle among your invitees with a dinner here or opt for something more unexpected. “Only a short stroll away you can access your own private recording studio, which Bono has passed through, or chat to your own private beekeeper,” he says.
From $982,196 per week for a full-island buyout.
Hawke’s Bay Villa, Rosewood Cape Kidnappers, South Island, New Zealand
Perched on Hawke’s Bay on the rugged south island of New Zealand, the views from this 6,000-acre property are spectacular—look out 180 degrees around the Pacific Ocean. (The spot’s name is a nod to the attempt by local Maori to snatch a crew member from Captain Cook’s Endeavor in 1769). This one-time sheep station is an outdoorsy adventure spot, with an on-site golf right on the top of the cliffs—the best views are from the 16th tee, 450 meters above sea level, though there are terrific vistas wherever you’re teeing off. There’s horseback-riding, birding, and wine-tasting nearby, too. The four-bedroom owner’s cottage rounds out the experience, a better alternative than staying in one of the rooms in the main lodge. “I adored the views, the silence, the ambiance, and the feeling of being in a total hideaway, but still just a short walk from the main lodge,” says Maury.
Flockhill Homestead, Craigieburn Valley, South Island, New Zealand
The first stage of a multi-year project around 90 minutes’ drive from Christchurch airport, this hotel reimagines the dude ranch with a kiwi twist. It remains a working sheep station—mostly Merino and Romney sheep—but the owners have added ultra-luxe accommodation as well as a raft of outdoorsy activities, from hikes to wild picnics and seasonal heli-skiing to fly fishing, around the 36,000-acre site. The main, four-bedroom homestead sits on the top of a hill looking out over the land, with its own infinity pool and spa, wine cellar, and indoor and outdoor dining rooms. The design details are superb: The custom glass chandeliers are all hand-blown by Auckland-based Monmouth Studio, and soon you’ll be able to sneak down to the onetime on-site schoolhouse that’s been converted into a speakeasy-style, standalone whisky bar. Rigg calls the entire place “the pinnacle” of new luxury accommodation in the country.
From $8,000 for up to eight people per night.
Ocean Pavilion, Southern Ocean Lodge, Kangaroo Island, Australia
Nearly four years ago, one of Australia’s best resorts was destroyed by raging wildfires. Now it’s back, having reopened Dec. 6, and its suites have already made a huge impression. Rebuilt at a cost of $50 million for just 25 rooms (or 50 guests—yes, that’s $1 million per guest), the lodge had its design handled by the resort’s original architects, who gave it a new-look, larger rooms, and the addition of a spa. Its best suite is more like a sleek modern house in size, with 6,727 square feet. Dubbed the Ocean Pavilion, the clifftop residence has four bedroom and four bathrooms. “The Ocean Pavilion has an expansive outdoor space with a private hot tub and infinity pool with unobstructed views out,” says Adler. “There’s nothing between you and Antarctica.”
From roughy $11,713 per night.
The Greatest Luxury Hotels in Asia
Asia, the largest continent, is so diverse that it’s difficult to summarize. You shouldn’t try. Palace hotels in India and urban penthouses in Hong Kong don’t really have anything in common except for the exceptional service you expect. What we can say is that, true to its size, Asia swept our list—beating out Europe—with the highest number of unparalleled suites.
The André Fu Suite, Upper House, Hong Kong
Architect and designer André Fu was the mastermind of the 1,960-foot namesake suite at this high-rise hotel in Hong Kong. He rebooted the onetime penthouse on the 48th floor from a two-bedroom residence to a single bedroom with its own private spa, complete with two massage beds, and a dining room that easily seats 18 people; it’s wreathed in a subtle palette of pale blues, browns, and ivory, a soothing hideaway from the hubbub below. Guests arrive via an escalator that whisks them away from the frenetic pace below before they ascend via elevator to the entranceway of the hotel, which overlooks Hong Kong’s harbor from a dizzying height—at night-time, the city below looks like a broken diamond necklace, sparkling in the darkness. Don’t assume that a stay here, though, is disconnected from life. The Gray Kuntz-operated restaurant is among the city-state’s finest. No wonder Sienna India calls it “an urban sanctuary that’s peaceful and energetic at the same time”
From roughly $7,694 per night.
Fuji/Ume Suite, Gora Kadan, Japan
Gora Kadan is a luxurious traditional Japanese ryokan (with Relais & Châteaux credentials) that blends the cool air and vibrant foliage of Hakone National Park near Mt. Fuji with hot spring-water baths. At the resort (located on the grounds of Kan’in-no-miya Villa, the former summer villa of an imperial family member), it’s easy to slow down and get mindful amongst the moss-coated rocks, minimalist design, and flowing water. It gets even easier in the resort’s Fuji/Ume Suite, which comes with an open-air hot spring bath that’s perfect for soaking it all in. “I love spending my time at Gora Kadan enjoying the local nature and cultural tours,” says Wilmot-Sitwell.“ The inn’s architecture blends traditional and contemporary Japanese style and the suite offers guests a private open-air bath surrounded by Japanese gardens and beautiful tatami-floored interiors.”
From roughly $675 per night.
Royal Suite, Dwarika’s Hotel, Kathmandu, Nepal
An exercise in architectural preservation and reinvention in a historic slice of the Nepalese capital, Dwarika’s Hotel has just 80 rooms (and 48 suites) carved out of a collection of traditional buildings. It’s heritage Royal Suite is just one bedroom with nearly 2,700 square feet and three floors. Inspired by palaces of Nepal’s Malla kings, its private sun deck has views of the Himalayas’ white peaks in the distance. But the highlight here is the 500-square-foot bathroom tricked out in traditional Newari style. “It’s a journey back in time,” says India. “It transforms the concept of a suite into a sacred journey where history, spirituality, and elegance seamlessly come together.”
From $2,486 per night.
Sukh Niwas Suite, Rambagh Palace, Jaipur, India
Built in 1835 for the Maharaja of Jaipur, the Rambagh Palace is a 78-room Taj hotel today. And naturally it comes with all of the architectural splendor of a true palace, from hand-carved marble latticework and sandstone balustrades to cupolas and formal Mughal gardens. But the Sukh Niwas Suite, a.k.a. the resort’s “grand presidential” suite, turns up the volume. It’s 1,800 square feet of arched stonework, textured drapes, richly colored fabrics, crystal chandeliers, and gold-leaf frescoes. But it’s the bed itself that wows here. “Opulent doesn’t begin to describe this room,” says Wix. “The circular bed is also surrounded by gold curtains. And, like one of my guests, you might be lucky enough to find a peacock fanning his tail on your terrace.”
From $12,000 per night.
Thakur Bhagwati Singh Hot Tub Suite, Six Senses Fort Barwara, Rajasthan, India
Six Senses has transformed this 14th-century fort once owned by a Rajasthani royal family into a center of well-being. The walled property contains two palaces, two temples, and, most alluringly, the roughly 1,900-square-foot Thakur Bhagwati Singh Hot Tub Suite. Large and in charge, the suite—festooned in royal Rajasthani style—has its biggest perk on the outside. It comes with a private roof-top terrace with a hot tub overlooking the Chauth ka Barwara Mandir mountain temple. “This property blends sumptuous history with sleek contemporary comforts,” says Cunningham. “Within striking distance of Jaipur and Ranthambore, it’s the perfect crash pad to indulge in the magnificent views and storied history.”
From $4,580 per night.
Raja Mandaka, Nihi Sumba, Indonesia
When it’s the resort owner’s home away from home, you should have an inkling that the suite is something special. At Nihi Sumba, owner Chris Burch stays at Raja Mandaka, the main house within the aptly named Owner’s Estate, a six-villa resort-within-a-resort with a private pool and its own main lodge. A remote island near Bali, Sumba matches untouched wilderness with Nihi’s five-star swag and the estate’s two-bedroom main house proves it. It comes with a lap pool, cold plunge pool, full second bedroom, library, living room, dining room, and full kitchen. But on an island, the party is always outside. The main house has a vast outdoor entertaining space with a deck, dining area, daybeds, and covered lounge.
From $16,192 per night.
Butterfly Tent, Shinta Mani Wild, Cambodia
Zip-line into this Ben Bensley–designed jungle camp in the wilds of Cambodia and check into tent No. 7, a.k.a. the Butterfly Tent. Situated just below the zip at the confluence of two rushing rivers, the safari-style suite earns its name from the abundance of butterfly species that congregate here. Keeping with that theme, the suite looks lavishly lepidopteran with butterfly art by U.K. creative Kate Spencer and two large bronze butterflies on the porch. There are other perks, too: a giant four-poster bed, books galore, a wraparound veranda, a roll-top bath, a well-stocked bar and even an ice-cream freezer. “This is the stuff jungle dreams are made of,” says Wilmot-Sitwell. “When I stayed there, the only sound beyond those of the jungle was the occasional ‘whoop’ as a fellow guest zip-wired through the treetops into camp.”
From $2,187 per night.
Royal Tented Suite, Serai by Suján, Rajasthan, India
A Relais & Châteaux tented camp in the Thar Desert near the famous citadel of Jaisalmer Fort, this 100-acre private estate is like a caravan oasis from another century. Sultans should stay in its Royal Tented Suite, which is its own private encampment. It comes with a private heated plunge pool, a massage area and tents (plural!) to dine and lounge in. A butler is included, of course. “It’s a spacious suite standing elegantly within its own walled garden and private veranda and heated plunge pool,” says Tanya Dalton of Greaves India. “After exploring the legendary UNESCO World Heritage site, relax with a massage before dining under the starry desert sky.”
From roughly $1,908 per night.
Kohinoor Suite, Oberoi Amarvilas, Agra, India
Just down the road from the Taj Mahal, the Oberoi Amarvilas is inspired by Mughal palace designs—so expect fountains, terraces, reflecting pools, and general lavishness. In keeping with that theme, its best suite is named for the legendary Kohinoor diamond, part of the U.K.’s crown jewels. Located in the center of the highest floor, it has 3,000 square feet that spread out like a large home, with a dining room that seats eight. The suite also has three terraces, with views of the—you guess it—Taj Mahal. “Sit out for a candle lit dinner with your own brass telescope to study the glistening marble monument under moon light,” says Dalton. “Or simply gaze upon it from your bubble bath or glassed-in rain shower.”
From $14,500 per night.
Muraka Suite, Conrad Maldives Rangali Island, Maldives
Nowhere on earth is more saturated with splendid over-water rooms than the Maldives. To make an impression here means something, and that is exactly what the Muraka Suite at Conrad Maldives Rangali Island does. The second level of this two-bedroom residence is submerged more than 16 feet below the Indian Ocean. That means you can watch the fish swim by from your primary bedroom’s 180-degree curved acrylic dome as you kick back. If you need more water in your life, there’s an infinity pool on your deck. “Instead of counting sheep to sleep, try counting the real fish circling your head,” says Wix.
From $10,000 per night.
Owner’s Suite, Vela Yacht
Why should your suite have to stay in one place? The 164-foot sailing yacht Vela embarked on its maiden voyage in 2022, and it continues to weave between the isles of Indonesia on bespoke itineraries. It has six staterooms, but there is one that really stands out. Located on the bridge deck, the Owner’s Suite has the best views from its large private terrace, as well as a king bed, a living area with Hermes fabrics on the furniture, and even oversize bathtub. “I sailed on Vela in Komodo National Park and the Owner’s Suite was sensational,” says Maury. “I woke to wrap around windows that echoed the cobalt of the sea and sky in every direction.”
Private charter from $15,000 per night.
The Greatest Luxury Hotels in Africa (and beyond)
Thanks to the stunning landscapes, remote locations, and the bush-bashing nature of the adventures here, hoteliers in Africa have the ability to be uniquely creative with their offerings. Tents, lodges, treehouses, standalone villas—the possibilities for newly built accommodations are infinite. That’s why the best suites in Africa are some of the most special on planet earth.
Agatha Christie Suite, Old Cataract Hotel, Aswan, Egypt
It’s easy to understand how the Queen of Crime came up with one of her twistiest mysteries sitting right here, in one of Egypt’s most glamorous old hotels, which dates back to 1899. For an entire year, she soaked up the louche allure as inspiration for one of Hercule Poirot’s most famous cases. (Forget the Branagh remake and stick with Ustinov, especially Angela Lansbury as a scenery chewing delight). It’s only fitting that the hotel should name a suite in her honor, which Gray says has “one of the most perfectly positioned, bucolic views of the Nile and Elephantine Island, complete with felucca boats dotting the water.” It’s kitted out like an English country drawing room, complete with overstuffed Chesterfield sofas, a four poster bed, and, of course, a vintage-style claw foot tub.
From $3,800 per night.
Kataza House, Singita Kwitonda, Rwanda
This Rwandan lodge is a rarity among so many sub-Saharan spots, and not just for the sumptuousness of its accommodation. It has a Rwanda-born GM, Lydia Nzayo, in charge of the camp, rather than an expat overseer. Nyazo and her team operate the property on 178 acres of land right by Volcanoes National Park, with just eight suites and a single-use four-bedroom villa, Kataza House. This penthouse-style villa has two heated plunge pools, both indoor and outdoor fireplaces, and even the perfect perch for a treatment or two after a day of gorilla trekking through the undergrowth. “The massage table in the giant bathroom makes it a combo spa/bathroom,” says Deborah Calmeyer of Roar Africa. Another impressive gesture to true sustainability: The majority of elements on the property have been made in Africa and were selected for that reason by the interior design team—indeed, more than 500 local artisans contributed to the project.
From $10,020 per night.
Zanji Suite, Tembo Plains Camp, Zimbabwe
This Relais & Châteaux camp is set within a thick forest on the edge of the Zambezi River in the private 281,000-acre Sapi Private Reserve—just east of Zimbabwe’s Mana Pools National Park UNESCO World Heritage Site. Its best room is the two-bedroom Zanji Suite, designed for either two couples or families traveling together. It has a lounge, dining area, kitchen, wine cellar and pool. Dereck Joubert, the CEO of Great Plains, says the suite’s design combines canvas and stone, a reference to the ruins of Great Zimbabwe, a stone medieval city. “This area offers one of the last remaining truly wild areas in Zimbabwe,” says Julian Harrison of Premier Tours. “Painted dogs, lions, and leopards are quite commonly observed around this camp, along with elephants and buffalos, to name a few.”
From $3,435 per night to $4,965 per night during high season in 2024.
Owner’s Suite, Ol Jogi, Kenya
Think of this estate, owned by art-gallery maestros the Wildensteins, as equal parts French château and Aladdin’s Cave, a sumptuously glamorous spot whose restrained exterior offers a stark contrast with the extravagance within. (It was steered by Jocelyn Wildenstein, the ex-wife of one of the scions and known now for her feline-skewing plastic surgery.) Cookson says the 180-degree view from the bed in this suite is unparalleled, opening out onto a busy waterhole full of wildlife. “There are floodlights you can turn on at night to see them gather, right from your bed,” he confides, noting, too, the importance of longtime house manager Fred, who’s unflustered by any of the most whim-prone requests. Even better, if you stay at the mansion—it has 13 bedrooms, but Cookson has booked it out solely for the use of a single couple—you’ll roam a wildlife-crammed 58,000-acre private conservancy in complete privacy.
$3,800 per person for up to four people per night, buyout/exclusive use only, minimum three-night booking.
Geoffrey Kent Suite, Sanctuary Olonana, Kenya
Olonana is 14-suite lodge within the famed Masai Mara, home of the great migration, run by luxury African adventure operator Sanctuary Retreats. Set along a private stretch of the Mara River, the camp recently unveiled its new two-bedroom Geoffrey Kent Suite, named for the legendary Abercrombie & Kent founder. Harrison says she loves the “free flow” of the suite, as well as its floor-to-ceiling windows, wraparound private deck, and infinity pool overlooking the river. Decked out with locally quarried stone, Kenyan cedarwood, midcentury modern furniture, and soft lighting, the suite comes with its own chef, private guide, and vehicle.
From $3,024 in low season with a stay of seven nights in a Sanctuary property.
Al Mamoun Suite, La Mamounia, Marrakech, Morocco
La Mamounia, Marrakech’s Grand Dame, celebrated its centennial this year. To step back in time all the way to the hotel’s 1923 origins, check in to the two-bedroom, two-bathroom Al Mamoun Suite. Packed with antiques, art, tile-work, rich upholstery, inlaid tables, and chandeliers, it blends oriental ornamentation with the Baroque in what must be a decorative first. “This gorgeous suite will forever be one of my favorite suites in the world,” says Ashley Isaacs Ganz of Artisans of Leisure. “The interiors rival any of Morocco’s historic top sites. There’s also an enormous terrace overlooking the hotel’s famed gardens.”
Sky Pod, White Desert Echo Camp, Antarctica
Ice-cold Antartica is hot with travelers, who mostly arrive via a nausea-inducing cruise ship dash across Drake’s Passage. But for landlubbers, there’s another way. White Deseret Echo Camp is reached by runway. Once you are on the ground, six stylish, space-age, fiberglass sky pods await. That means just 12 guests at a time enjoy martinis, shaken with 10,000-year-old ice. Guided hiking, ice-climbing, skiing, skidooing, and visits to Emperor Penguin colonies are also on the menu. “Luxury is not always defined by opulence, it’s often the experience and exclusivity,” says Clifford. “White Desert surrounds you in floor-to-ceiling comfort as you prepare for a South Pole adventure. Going big? Buy out all six pods for your friends and family.”
From $65,000 per person for five-days, including flights (and everything else). Buyouts from $780,000.